Huntington Aluminum shows off $1M expansion
By Andrew Maciejewski | The Herald-Press
When Huntington Aluminum President Roger Kilty walked into their 100,000-square-foot facility at the Riverfork Industrial Park in 2011, he didn’t know what to do with all of the space.
Now, used aluminum parts, chips, scraps and rims from across the country are piled up across the property, waiting to be melted into 28-pound ingots and 328-pound sows so companies can save money and recycle their excess aluminum.
The company just completed a $1-million expansion, adding a second rotary furnace to increase their production by an additional three to four tons of recycled aluminum a month. The expansion created eight jobs, bringing their total employment to 60 workers.
“We was turning customers away, so we had to do something here and make a decision to grow or let the business go,” Huntington Aluminum general manager Steve Stamper said. “We decided to make the expansion.”
In 2011, the company wanted to hit a benchmark of 1 million pounds of recycling, but it could hardly handle processing 800,000 pounds of scrap aluminum at first.
“I was thinking man we’re never going to get that,” Kilty said. “I mean even at that point (Stamper) and I were out there pouring sows.”
Now, the company plans to recycle more than 9 million pounds a month by November, thanks to the new furnace.
City and county officials toured the expansion, Monday, after the company met the requirements laid out in a performance-based grant of $80,000 provided to Huntington Aluminum to assist in their growth.
“To see them grow and expand and then walk out here and see the people from our county that have been employed here and what (they) have done for the community, we really appreciate it,” Huntington County commissioner Tom Wall said. “This is a growth story,” Wall said. “I appreciate you saying doing in Huntington County and Huntington City is great … we want to hear success stories like this.”
The performance-based grant required the company to create eight jobs, acquire an air pollution permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and put in an emission reducing structure to reduce pollution.
At first, the company was leaning toward investing in a plant in Ohio, but Wall said the former Mayor of Huntington, Steve Updike, and the local government jumped in to recruit the company.
The facility the company is currently in sat vacant and in need of serious renovation before the company chose Huntington.
Now, the company already has plans to automate two of their production lines, and officials said they’ve been extremely happy with their choice doing business in Huntington.
“It’s just been amazing to watch your growth and expertise,” Mayor Brooks Fetters told the company officials during the tour. “I just want to applaud your courage because as you grow and expand, those are gut check kind of moments … It always takes boldness and courage to do that. Congratulations, and I’m glad your meeting with success. It’s not only good for you guys but it’s good for the whole community and the entire region.”